12-year-old Cody Green had been seriously ill for much of his short life, but his courage impressed the Marines. (Daily Mail)

By: Andrea Ryan

Honor.  Courage.  Commitment.

These are the core values that define a U.S. Marine.  Along with their solemn code of Semper Fidelis, it is what makes elite warriors of the few and the proud and distinguishes them as individuals bonded together by loyalty and enduring greatness.

Cody Green, a young 12 year old boy in Indiana battling leukemia, shared these characteristics and the local Marine Corps recognized them.  With the “strength and honor and courage” he showed through his long struggle to be rid of his disease they decided to make the brave, young admirer of the U.S. Marines an honorary Marine, himself.
The Daily Mail has the bittersweet story,

Throughout his short life, young Cody Green had admired the bravery of the U.S. Marines.

But after years spent battling leukaemia, it was the youngster’s courage fighting cancer which inspired his heroes to honour his bravery.

The 12-year-old from Indiana had suffered from the disease throughout his life. First diagnosed just before his second birthday, he had beaten leukaemia three times – but the chemotherapy had reduced his immune system and, last weekend, he died from a fungus which attacked his brain.

And standing guard outside his hospital room that night was a local Marine named Mark Dolfini who was so moved by Cody’s continued cancer battle that he decreed the 12-year-old to be a honorary member of the elite military unit. …

Cody’s repeat cancer battle inspired the local Marines, who thought ‘he’s fought as hard as any marine has and because of that we’re going to honour him’. …

The youngster’s father David Snowberger told local station WLFI: ‘They decided Cody, with the strength and honour and courage he showed through the whole thing, he should be a Marine.’

When Cody’s condition took a turn for the worse on Friday night, his family got in touch with a local Marine who said that he would rush to the hospital to be with the boy during his final hours.

Former Marine Mark Dolfini, 39, who was introduced to Cody through Mr Snowberger, presented the boy with a flag and Marine navigator wings. …

In keeping with the Corps motto of Semper Fidelis, latin for always faithful, the Marine stood post outside of Cody’s door all night, saluting Mrs Green as she went in and out of the room, right up until Cody passed on Saturday.

‘The night before Cody passed, he stood guard at Cody’s door at the hospital all night long for eight hours straight,’ Mr Snowberger said.

Mr Dolfini, who was initially hesitant to go public for fear it would take away from Cody’s story, spoke with MailIOnline, telling how he knew he had to spend the night guarding Cody’s door because it was what he deserved.

Honour guard: Mark Dolfini, 39, a local Marine, was so moved by Cody’s story that he helped make the 12-year-old an honorary Marine before he passed on Saturday due to an infection related to cancer. (Daily Mail)

Dwight Moody once said, “character is what you are in the dark”.  May this poignant story be an inspiring reminder that great virtue does exist and may the inner strength of Cody Green live on to carry his family through.

Update:  Here is a video from News Channel 18…



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  1. Marines are special, special human beings. Tons of respect for them….and I’m former Army and Air Force. May God keep this young angel and watch over his family. And, God Bless Marine Mark Dolfini and the Corps.

  2. What an inspiring story! God bless young Mr. Green for his courage, his parents for their loss of such a wonderful son, and the US Marines for recognizing young Mr. Green’s outstanding character.

  3. great story.

  4. Semper Fi, Cody Green. May you be in Gd’s Book of Life.

  5. The Few. The Proud. The Honorable. The Marines.\


  6. As I began reading the story, I thought maybe Cody was still here.

    The more I read tears welled up.

    What a bittersweet story.

    I’m proud of our military – especially the Marines – especially Dolfini for doing something he didn’t have to do.

    Cody would have been happy that he was made a Marine.

    RIP Cody.

  7. That is why I love this great country of ours and the men and when who serve galently to protect her and never leave even the smallest of our heros behind.

  8. I salute you Dwight Moody. When I saw your picture standing guard outside the portal of our young hero, my mind was filled with images of all that represents America of days gone by, and hopefully days to return. Thank you for upholding what is irreplaceable.

  9. America’s finest.

  10. Thank you for sharing. . . sad but beautiful.

    Shows the beauty & honor that still exists in our country and by those brave, selfless, compassionate men & women who serve to defend her.

    Reminds me of the saying: if one was stuck in a remote desert, whose country’s troops & flag would you most want to see come over the dune to rescue you? America’s!

    Our prayers go out to Cody and his family.
    I believe he is in a better place with God for “In God We Trust”!

    Know that this brave young man has left behind a beautiful legacy for us to remember & follow.

    Thank you Cody. . And thank you Marines – - Semper Fidelis!

    God bless this little man and the Marine who showed Semper Fi

  12. Rest in peace little brother…

    Semper fi

  13. Breaks my heart.
    You fought bravely.
    Rest in peace, little Marine.

    A Veteran Plea on Behalf of Bob and Nancy Strait:

  14. What a great story. A Navy salute to that young man and to the Marines!

  15. great story. made me cry. semper fi!

  16. Rest in peace, Cody. Hugs to the big guys, and thanks.

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